Website Evaluation











Credibility Checklist:

Use this checklist to help you determine if a source is credible (trustworthy) or not. 



Source Information

Most Credible

Fairly Credible

Last Credible


Expert in the field

Educated on topic

Little or no information on author


Recently published or revised


No date listed

Source Type

Official websites, institutional sites, academic journals, reputable news sources

Published material

Unfamiliar websites


Publisher’s relationship on the topic is balanced or neutral

Publisher is sponsored by a trusted source

Clearly biased or favoring a position for a purpose




Credibility Checklist from:


Assessing Sources

When you find a text you might use for research, assess it first by asking these questions.


  1. Assess the Text’s Accessibility

¨Am I able to read and comprehend the text easily?

¨Do I have adequate background knowledge to understand the terminology, information, and ideas in the text?


  1. Assess the Text’s Credibility

¨Is the author an expert on the topic?

¨Is the purpose to inform?

¨Is the purpose to persuade?

¨Is the purpose to sell?

¨Is the tone convincing?

¨Does the text have specific facts and details to support the ideas?


  1. Assess the Text’s Relevance

¨Does the text have information that helps me answer my research question? Is it information that I don’t have already?

¨How does the information in the text relate to other sources I have found?





Informed by “Assessing Sources,” designed by Odell Education





Taken from page 15 on:

  • When deciding which resource to read next, whether it be print or digital, you need to ask yourself a couple of key questions:

–  What is the source information for this? (author, Web site, date, etc.) 

–  Is it a credible source? (If not, students should skip it and move on to other sources.)

–  What information am I missing in my research? 

–  What questions do I need answered before I can take a position on this issue?


   *    “What does relevant mean?”

   *    “Why is it important to find relevant information?”

*Listen for: “Relevant means that the information is related to my research question, or is helpful in answering questions I still have. It’s important to find relevant information because the purpose of this research is to answer questions that I have.” Clarify as needed.



From Module 4, Unit 2, Lesson 7 (*from Lesson 8)

AMS Library 6/16





 Lesson Plans

A lesson plan for middle level grades – geared at teaching students about determining what websites are reliable and why this is important. 6-8.

This lesson plan, created for students in grades 6-8 helps them understand how and why it is important to evaluate websites. 

The above lesson plan asks that students locate six websites related to a specific topic, copy the URL into a Word Document, and then explain why this website is or is not reliable. This would be a quick beneficial refresher, or a nice way to start off a unit.

This blog provides wonderful information about up-to-date advances in technology for schools, but the following link is to a post from 2009 in which the author posted 9 different lesson plans and resources for use when teaching students about website evaluation.

Published by NCTE, this lesson plan is set up for a 50 minute block in grades 6-8 and has been aligned to NYS teaching Standards.

A lesson plan from the Techie Teacher blog – provides essential questions that will drive the lesson, as well as further understanding that the students will gain.




 Animoto Video


The following videos may be used at any time during a website evaluation lesson:




   (5 W’s)


 Kathy Schrock Web Evaluation Tools

This online evaluation tool is a great introduction piece for students in 6th grade or as a refresher for older students! The form itself may need to be updated, but overall, it could be implemented into any class or curricular area.

This provides a website evaluation tool for teachers, although many teachers may not need to fill out this form, it does provide helpful sections to focus on when choosing a website.

This form follows the same format as the previous two, but it is designed to help students and teachers evaluate online videos. This could be a great benefit as research begins to grow and change – students are realizing they can locate information from various sources and Medias, due to this, this form may be a great asset.

The 5 W’s of website evaluation – who, what, when, where, why? This would be a great handout for students.

This article details the importance of teaching students to evaluate websites. It provides information on Schrock’s ABC method for evaluating websites, but is somewhat outdated.




 Easy Bib Website Evaluation

Students at AMS are already familiar with Easy Bib, so providing them with this video and helpful web guide would be comfortable for them.






Copies of Tagxed images have been attached below.







Johnson, Larry, and Annette Lamb. “Evaluating Internet Resources.” Evaluating Internet Resources. Teacher Tap, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.